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Saturday, 19 May, 2001, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Rayner recovers after breast cancer scare
Claire Rayner
The agony aunt often advises women on breast cancer
Agony aunt Claire Rayner has undergone surgery for suspected breast cancer after discovering a lump while on holiday.

The 69-year-old mother-of-three, who has long campaigned for breast cancer awareness, is recovering in a London hospital after the procedure on Friday night.


I am not going to be shy or embarrassed about breast cancer

Claire Rayner
The newspaper columnist went straight to her own doctor after discovering the lump, and was referred for treatment.

Ms Rayner has often advised women worried about lumps in their breasts to speak to a doctor and has won awards for her candid columns.

She is patron of the Pink Ribbon magazine which raises funds to fight breast cancer.

She is expected to have a series of medical tests to determine whether the lump is benign.

Ms Rayner worked for the Sunday Mirror during the 1980s and was named Medical Journalist of the Year in 1987. She has also written a string of novels and appeared on countless TV shows.

'Galling'

She told the News of the World before her operation: "I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and I am now undergoing treatment.

"I am not intending to give a blow by blow account of my experiences with cancer. John Diamond has already done that far better than I, or anybody else, could ever do.

"However I do feel I have responsibility to be open about my health. For over 40 years as either a writer about, or a campaigner on, issues of public health I have argued that the enemy of successful treatment is embarrassment and euphemism.

"I am not going to be shy or embarrassed about breast cancer now that I am the one with the diagnosis."

Her son Jay said: "This morning's operation went according to plan and she is now embarking on the tiresome process of recovery.

"It will be hugely galling for her that the very day she is forced to step back from public life, provision for older people finally makes its way on to the general election's agenda."

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